Plastic waste from Sabarimala devotees kills wild elephant in Kerala forest

The carcass of the jumbo was sighted at Valiyaanavattom under the wildlife area of Periyar west division

By: Press Trust of India | Pathanamthitta | Published:February 3, 2014 2:24 pm
elephant calf The pachyderm has two kilograms of plastic waste inside. (File photo for representative purposes only)

At a time when animal lovers are concerned about plastic articles being abandoned in forests, a 40-year-old female elephant was found dead with about two kg of plastic waste in its bowels in a forest near the holy hill Sabarimala in Pathanamthitta district recently.

The plastic articles consumed by the jumbo was believed to have been the left over of the two-month long pilgrimage of Sabarimala, which concluded last month. The carcass of the jumbo was sighted at Valiyaanavattom under the wildlife area of Periyar west division on Saturday.

A top official said huge piles of plastic waste,including polythene carry bags, aluminium foil papers and wrappers of packed food were found in its abdomen during post-mortem.

“The carcass of the elephant was spotted during routine field check. About two kg of plastic waste was found in its abdomen during post-mortem. It could not take any food at least for some weeks,” said Sunil Babu, deputy director, Periyar west division.

“According to the veterinarians, the animal died of constipation and intestinal blockage. It could not digest the plastic in the intestine or take any other food,” he said.  He, however, said no similar incident was reported in the area in the recent past though the presence of plastic waste had been found in the dung of the wild animals before.

Stern action was necessary to keep the forest clean and plastic-free, the official added. The carcass was cremated inside the Valiyaanavattom forest yesterday.

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  1. S
    shriman
    Jan 6, 2017 at 9:40 pm
    Please save nature and Ban plastic bags.
    Reply
    1. H
      hari
      Dec 7, 2015 at 12:18 pm
      Bag plastic pls
      Reply
      1. S
        Suresh Kumar
        Feb 26, 2015 at 11:29 pm
        Ban Plastic Bags. People will return to the age old habit of carrying personal bags from home for shopping. Plastic bags are an avoidable evil. Imagine the amount of Wildlife... Nature we would be saving.... or not troubling should I say... because of plastic less waste...
        Reply
        1. S
          Scott
          Feb 5, 2014 at 12:17 am
          Funny how ramen said its 'typical brainless tourists' I think people in a country need to own up, it's in their backyard and they are accountable, they should take responsibility. I don't litter in my own country (Australia) and our states are relatively litter free in most parts so I don't do it when I travel either, littering sucks.Stop blaming tourists and pointing fingers and start taking responsibility so it will never happen again.
          Reply
          1. C
            Carol Costley
            Feb 6, 2014 at 6:47 pm
            What a painful way to die. man does it again. Cannot pick up after himself. People will never learn
            Reply
            1. C
              Carol Costley
              Feb 6, 2014 at 6:47 pm
              What a painful way to die. man does it again. Cannot pick up after himself. People will never learn
              Reply
              1. D
                Ding
                Feb 5, 2014 at 7:31 am
                Devotees will believe Swami Aiyappa will send that Elephant to heaven. Religion is killing this planet. Wake up people.
                Reply
                1. D
                  Ding
                  Feb 5, 2014 at 7:31 am
                  Devotees will believe Swami Aiyappa will send that Elephant to heaven. Religion is killing this planet. Wake up people.
                  Reply
                  1. N
                    N.D.Jain ND
                    Feb 3, 2014 at 11:52 am
                    Very sad.
                    Reply
                    1. N
                      N.D.Jain ND
                      Feb 3, 2014 at 11:52 am
                      Very sad.
                      Reply
                      1. F
                        Free Voice
                        Feb 5, 2014 at 10:22 pm
                        What about the baby : ( Who is caring for the baby left behind? This story doesn't seem to address the full tragedy :_(
                        Reply
                        1. F
                          Free Voice
                          Feb 5, 2014 at 10:22 pm
                          What about the baby : ( Who is caring for the baby left behind? This story doesn't seem to address the full tragedy :_(
                          Reply
                          1. S
                            Sue
                            Feb 5, 2014 at 11:03 am
                            Scott, by tourists Ramen means religious pilgrims, not foreigners. I'm from Australia too and we do have a litter problem. Have you seen the aftermath of Clean Up Australia Day. We also don't have plastic bag bans in most states. Even in Mumbai they have banned the plastic bag. Don't be so holier than thou.
                            Reply
                            1. S
                              Sue
                              Feb 5, 2014 at 11:03 am
                              Scott, by tourists Ramen means religious pilgrims, not foreigners. I'm from Australia too and we do have a litter problem. Have you seen the aftermath of Clean Up Australia Day. We also don't have plastic bag bans in most states. Even in Mumbai they have banned the plastic bag. Don't be so holier than thou.
                              Reply
                              1. R
                                Ramen
                                Feb 3, 2014 at 12:08 pm
                                Typical brainless tourists... they are everywhere... there should be hefty fines in place for people throwing plastic...
                                Reply
                                1. J
                                  Janie
                                  Feb 5, 2014 at 10:24 pm
                                  What happened to the beautiful baby elephant? How is it being cared for & what organization is providing the care? I know the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust provides wonderful care for abandoned baby elephants.
                                  Reply
                                  1. J
                                    Janie
                                    Feb 5, 2014 at 10:24 pm
                                    What happened to the beautiful baby elephant? How is it being cared for & what organization is providing the care? I know the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust provides wonderful care for abandoned baby elephants.
                                    Reply
                                    1. M
                                      Madan Menon Thottasseri
                                      Feb 4, 2014 at 4:34 pm
                                      The entire ghat section road right from Erumeli (both routes) to Pampa and the on foot -route from Pampa to Sannidhanan ( both routes ) must be declared as Plastic-free zones and strictly ban use of plastic bags by devotees, tea-shops and other hawkers’ booths
                                      Reply
                                      1. M
                                        Madan Menon Thottasseri
                                        Feb 4, 2014 at 4:34 pm
                                        The entire ghat section road right from Erumeli (both routes) to Pampa and the on foot -route from Pampa to Sannidhanan ( both routes ) must be declared as Plastic-free zones and strictly ban use of plastic bags by devotees, tea-shops and other hawkers’ booths
                                        Reply
                                        1. V
                                          Viraf Mehta
                                          Feb 6, 2014 at 12:02 pm
                                          Hope the Kerala government , Department of Tourism and the forest department will not allow this to be repeated in future !!
                                          Reply
                                          1. V
                                            Viraf Mehta
                                            Feb 6, 2014 at 12:02 pm
                                            Hope the Kerala government , Department of Tourism and the forest department will not allow this to be repeated in future !!
                                            Reply
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